Budapest (MTI) – Several thousand billion forints of European Union support will be flowing into the Hungarian economy this year, and this will primarily benefit small and medium-sized businesses, stimulating investment sentiment, the head of Kavosz Zrt. told the daily Magyar Idők.
László Krisán, head of the company affiliated with the National Association of Entrepreneurs and Employers and the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said in the interview published on Saturday that the willingness of enterprises to invest is visible in the portfolio of loans of the state-run Szechenyi Card programme. Compared with 2015, 15 percent more loan transactions took place last year, almost 30 percent higher than the previous year’s contracted amount of credit.
This year, EU support worth at least 2,700 billion forints (EUR 8.7bn) will be paid out to companies, he said, adding that it was conceivable this would translate to requests for funds totalling 3,000 billion.
He said it was not only strong companies that should receive support, given that 90 percent of the country’s operating micro, small and medium-sized firms are family-run businesses, 80-90 percent of them in the services sector employing just a few people, and they cannot be expected to build new operations.
Krisán said, at the same time, that there were several ifs and buts this year for businesses such as tight construction capacity, the capacity to absorb minimum wage hikes, a lack of capital in the SME sector, red tape and changes related to the new public procurement law. But even so, Hungarian companies are optimistic, he said.